Years ago, during my son’s hockey tournament in Toronto, our family went to his restaurant and it was fabulous. Great service, wonderful food (my son’s hamburger had 99 burned into it), and it felt just like a hockey museum.
A few interesting tidbits from all the memorabilia inside.
He had a Honus Wagner baseball card on display valued at $500,000, but with Wayne’s signature on it the value doubled! Imagine anyone else defacing a trophy card like that, but The Great One’s scrawl actually increased the value.
He also has his rookie sweater hanging next to his hawkey idol’s rookie sweater, Gordie Howe. Quite a treat for fans of the game.
There’s also a plexiglass case with about 40 of his game used sticks. My son noticed that they were really short, about the same length of his stick as an eight year old (then). I asked the waiter why they were so short and he explained that Wayne’s hunched over skating style was the result of cutting off an inch after each period (to keep him leaning over, the proper form for skating).
Later we went to the Hall of Fame and Wayne practically had his very own wing. Quite impressive and appropriate for all his records–he holds or shares 61 NHL records!
He’s also a big fan of his fans.
When I was playing hawkey at Penn State, one of my teammates said his high school coach was Wayne’s best friend and if I wanted he’d ask Wayne to sign my Gretzky book by Rick Reilly, which had just come out. I didn’t really believe Brett, but gave him my copy to take home for Christmas break.
So what’s he been up to since leaving the limelight of the NHL?
If you want to visit his restaurant or attend his fantasy camp (on my Bucket List), here’s the link:
Oh yeah, Brett brought back my book with Wayne’s signature and a note on the inside…and Brett lived in Ohio. Amazing! How does Gretzky have time to do that?
One more Great to add to his Greatness!